To get to the fundamental design principles that generate timeless architecture, we need to start asking different questions. We need to ask what everything has in common, not how they are different.
A typical study of architecture will make an effort to look at all the differences between houses and buildings in order to classify them into different “styles”. What I’m interested in are all the similarities…..not the differences. What does every home built in a traditional style in times past or present have in common that makes them get better with age? Or in our present verbiage---timeless.
If I were to line up the following homes in a row and ask you to tell me what they all have in common, what would those things be?
Firstly, let’s start off with the materials used; how they use materials is very specific and similar across all styles. From there we’ll take a look at the second element, Massing and determine exactly what that means too. We’re going to look at simple and complex geometric volumes and the how they’re composed. Architecture need not be complicated. With all the terms I just threw in you’re probably thinking “Wait!” STOP!, I don’t get it. You just lost me.”
If that’s what you're thinking right now, don’t worry. These words and principles will all make sense and be clear by the time I’m through with you. Just push through the next little bit and we’ll start having more fun, I promise.
Third: Hierarchy is determined as the use of shapes and details to give prominence to certain elements of a design.
Fourth: Ornamentation and the Use of details -- there are some very interesting commonalities here amid such different design.
Fifth: Proportion and Scale -- going back to geometry and how all the different parts relate to the whole in a cohesive manner
And lastly -- the idea of ORDER. All the previous design principles generate a sense of order and that sense of order is the magic that makes the home timeless. We’re going to make these abstract ideas easy to comprehend and turn you into an architectural expert.